Watson & Weber Biography

The groundbreaking films of Watson and Webber are widely unrecognized despite their important contribution to the history of avant-garde film. This may be due to the pairs' extreme modesty. In addition, Sitney manages to leave them out of his book Visionary Film, which is known as the avant-garde film text. Watson and Webber worked extensively with the poet and painter e. e. cummings. Watson and Webber's two completed avant-garde films originated in literary texts. Watson was associated with several avant-garde writers of the time because he was co-owner of the popular literary criticism magazine The Dial.  Watson and Webber's experience with the literary world, and e.e. cummiongs' experience in the visual world, paved the way for an artistic relationship where all parties could easily understand the visions of one another. Watson and Webber incorporated the ideas of futurism, cubism, expressionism and surrealism into their two most well-known pieces: Lot in Sodom and The Fall of the House of Usher. Watson himself described these works as "amateur". Watson was exposed to the vast worlds of avant-garde art, both in New York City and in Europe. Watson also received an M.D. in 1923 and produced studies in x-ray cinematography between 1946 and 1960. Webber had a background of art history, teaching art and writing poetry. Watson and Webber began their collaboration in 1926 and contributed greatly to the history of avant-garde film.

--Tara Travisano, 2003

Watson & Weber